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Shut the Box Game Rules

Both Craps and Shut the Box use two dice.
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Are you tired of playing board games in which it takes a long time to learn the rules, and then during the game there are arguments over those rules as you learn to play the game? Shut the Box is just the game for you then, as the rules are very simple. Your goal is to eliminate a series of numbers by rolling those numbers on one die or the combination of multiple dice. You can even eliminate multiple numbers that can be added up to total the sum of your two dice. The player with the lowest score wins in the Shut the Box Game.

Remove the Shut the Box game board from the box, and flip up the wooden tabs that have the numbers one through 12 on them so each one is standing up. During the game of Shut the Box, your goal is to flip as many of these tabs down as possible on your turn.

Find a group of friends to play Shut the Box against. You can play Shut The Box with as many players as you wish, but the ideal number is between two and five players competing against each other.

Choose a player to go first. That person starts by rolling the two dice included in the game.

Flip down the tabs after each roll of the dice. After each roll, you can either flip over one tab that is the total on the two dice combined, or you can flip any combination of tabs that equals the total you rolled on the two dice. If at any time you cannot flip down tabs that equal or total the number thrown on both dice combined, your turn ends.

Total up the remaining tabs that have not been flipped down when your turn ends. This is your score for that round. Flip all of the tabs back up before the next player's turn.

Alternate turns until each player in the game has had one turn. If you are only playing one round of Shut the Box, the player with the lowest score is the winner. If you are playing multiple rounds, write down each player's score after each round. The winner is the player with the lowest total score after the predetermined number of rounds have been played, and each round's tally has been added.


The numbers nine through 12 are the hardest numbers to remove from the game of Shut The Box. Remove these at your first opportunity.


  • Rolling the dice outside of the box constitutes a penalty. Some play that you must flip your highest tab that has been flipped down back up. Others play that your turn ends if you roll either die outside of the playing box.
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